Cowes – Shorwell 15miles MTB – Isle of Wight MTB Route #1
Take the Red Funnel car ferry from Southampton to East Cowes for this ride and use the East Cowes floating bridge to start the ride from West Cowes. The route is mainly off road but starts with a short ride on the road to the Cowes-Newport cycle track. The first option of pub stop is at The Old Stag public house at Parkhurst just before turning off to Parkhurst Forest. Off road in the forest with a quick stop at the Squirrel Hide then back on the road for a couple of miles to the second pub stop at the Blacksmiths Arms, just up from Betty Haunt Lane on the Calbourne road. From here it’s all off road to Shorwell, and it gets hilly too with a steep at first, then gradual climb to the top of Brighstone Forest before dropping off Limerstone Down into Shorwell and finishing at the Crown Inn.
Start at Cowes Floating Bridge. Continue on to the Cowes Newport cycle track to right turn up Stag Lane to the Old Stag Pub
Small stretch of main road to right turn on Noke Common road leading to left turn at Noke Gate into Parkhurst Forest
Parkhurst Forest. Not very hilly at all, but a few short drags, which if muddy can be quite hard work. Stop off at the Squirrel Hide at the 6 mile point.
Back on the road again to left turn onto Betty Haunt Lane and a gradual climb to Calbourne road where you will see The Blacksmith’s Arms on your left.
Right opposite the Blacksmith Arms you will see the bridleway leading up to theTennyson Trail. This is very steep at the bottom but remains pretty steep for about 300 metres. The trail is then quite flat across the ridge of the down until you reach the four way intersection. Go straight over at this point towards Brighstone Forest where a gradual climb will take you to the forest edge
The ride continues along the fire tracks of the fores, mainly flat but rolling gently until you make a left turn onto the Worsley Trail. You may spot some paragliders here. A rigth turn just as you reach the gate and the forest edge will take you in the direction of Shorwell.
Dropping off Limerstone Down, you will need to be careful here as the trail isn’t that clear, so try and follow the gates with the green signs with yellow arrows. You can only drop onto the Shorwell road anyway within less than a mile, which will lead you to The Crown Inn and the end of the ride.